Ancient and powerful beings across the multiverse grant magical knowledge to mortals through wildly dangerous pacts. Those bound to these pacts become warlocks, but the will and force of their patron is borne by more than just those who strike bargains for sorcerous power. A fext is a former warlock who has become wholly dedicated to their patron – mind, body, and soul – and functions as enforcer, bodyguard, and assassin. They are powerful undead slaves to the will of their otherworldly patron.
Physically Linked. Each fext is a unique servant of their patron and exhibit the physical traits of their masters. A fext bound to the Prince of Winter archfey might have ice blue skin and a cold stare, while one serving the Great Old One Ghaundadar could have eyes of inky blackness and an oily sheen over their entire body. The eyes of every fext are tied directly to their patron’s mind, who can actively see through the fext at any time. The fext also possesses a telepathic link to their patron.
Transformation. The process a warlock undergoes to become a fext is horrendous. The warlock is emptied of whatever morality and humanity they possessed as wine from a jug, and in its place the otherworldly patron pours their corruption and unearthly will. Whatever life the fext led before turning into their undead form is completely gone. Dark rumors whisper of some patrons keeping the original souls of their fext servants hidden away, but the process is so complete that a fext carries no memories of their former existence. They exist only to serve.
Ambitious. Scholars have debated about how many fext an otherworldly patron can command. The more powerful and well-established patrons (such as Oberon or Great Cthulhu) are known to have at least a hundred, while others have only a handful (or none). Where there is more than one fext, however, there are ambitious maneuverings amongst them to curry the greatest favor of their powerful lord. Each fext is bound to obey the commands of their patron, but they always attempt to accomplish it to the detriment of their fellow fext. Scheming is common and rampant among them and they try to work without the aid of other fext as much as possible.
Living wicks are obedient wax statues brought to life by an enchanted wick that runs from the nape of their neck to their lower back. When new, a living wick looks and moves like a slightly stooped human, but as the wick burns, the wax features melt and the statue takes on a twisted, hunchbacked appearance.
Cheap and Disposable. Because living wicks are wax constructs powered by flames, they do have a predetermined lifecycle and are typically formless lumps in about fourteen days. Proponents of these particular constructs, however, claim that a living wick’s affordability more than makes up for its inevitable obsolescence. Individuals looking to quickly construct a building or fortification, without the use of paid labor or necromancy, find living wicks to be both obedient and efficient, as do those that need to field a large army for a single battle or limited purpose.
A Versatile Construct. Living wicks are interesting in that they are only active when their wicks are lit and only respond to the telepathic commands of whoever did the lighting. This makes it easy to transfer living wicks between owners, even those not well-versed in the use of magic. This has caused some aristocrats to develop a fondness for the constructs, particularly there utility as eye-catching servers at dinner parties. Living wicks used in this capacity are often ornately carved and look nothing like basic, featureless models. Following the party, the living wick can be extinguished and stored until the host has need of it again.
Controlled Burn. The amount of magical energy contained within a living wick, paired with the manner in which it is released, gave the constructs an unintended affinity for self-destruction. Should their controller every demand it, all living wicks have the ability to suddenly release the magic contained within their form, engulfing themselves and anyone nearby in white hot flames. This is seen as a terrible liability for those that use living wicks as butlers or servants, but less scrupulous types see it as an asset, especially those seeking to destroy incriminating evidence or anonymously attack their enemies.
I just wanted to let you know that the judges have all the entries and are currently going over them to pick out the finalists. I hope to post them this week (maybe even starting tonight!), with a poll at the end of the week so that you, the voting public, can help pick the winner of this contest!
So, stay tuned. We had a LOT of wonderful entries, and our esteemed judges are having an interesting time picking out finalists.
Thanks go to all who entered AND to our judges, who have spent a fair amount of time going over many, many monsters!
It is that time again—time for another Kobold Press contest! And this time, we’re focusing on the latest edition of D&D.
Using rules for the 5th edition of D&D, design a monster of any kind and send it to us for judging. The maximum length for entries is 600 words, and entries must be submitted on or before February 23, 2015, to be eligible. You’ll find the full details in the rules below.
A panel of judges will pick out five finalists to post on the Kobold Press website. Then we’ll ask the public to vote on the entry they think should win the grand prize!
The full moon shines down on the ruined farm. Bodies lie scattered across the barnyard in pools of congealed black blood. The first sign is dry rattling cracks from all around you, and then hundreds of little avian skeletons emerge from the surrounding area and move toward you, empty eye sockets implacably staring.
Doom fowl are swarms of the animated skeletons of chickens, ducks, geese, and other common barnyard fowl. Never ones to waste resources, the gnomes of Neimheim developed a variant usage of animate dead to turn the dead flocks of raided farms into a source of horrible minions. The resulting swarms of undead fowl often incorporate nearby materials into their incomplete skeletons, a feature that the gnomes quickly realized allowed them to augment their creations.